Archive for the ‘tiger cubs’ Tag

HSUS Undercover Investigation Reveals Dead Tigers, Safety Threats at Oklahoma’s GW Exotic Animal Park   Leave a comment

Note: This “park” was said to be the intended home for Tony if his owner, Michael Sandlin, is forced to give him up. Read more:

HSUS Undercover Investigation Reveals Dead Tigers, Safety Threats at Oklahoma’s GW Exotic Animal Park

Park may have more dangerous predators than any other roadside zoo in the nation

May 16, 2012 – via The Humane Society of the United States

The Humane Society of the United States has released the results of an undercover investigation into an Oklahoma exotic animal park, where an investigator recorded tiger deaths, unwarranted breeding and dangerous incidents involving children and adults. HSUS undercover video footage taken at GW Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood, Okla. in the summer and fall of 2011 shows potentially illegal actions that imperil both animals and humans.

GW Exotic Animal Park houses approximately 200 tigers and other dangerous exotic animals and is acting as a petting zoo and traveling zoo that breeds tiger and bear cubs and allows the public to handle exotic animals for a fee, both at its own facility and at shopping malls and other venues around the country. The HSUS filed a series of complaints with state and federal authorities regarding potential legal violations, and called for strengthening certain areas of the law dealing with dangerous exotic wildlife.

The results of the investigation were first reported this morning by CBS News. The HSUS says it’s a dangerous situation for tigers and people, a hazard highlighted by the mass exotic animal tragedy the nation learned of last fall in Zanesville, Ohio. The president of GW Exotic Animal Park, Joe Schreibvogel, traveled to Ohio in April 2012 to lobby against Senate Bill 310, the bill introduced by state lawmakers to restrict the private ownership of dangerous captive wildlife in response to the Zanesville incident. At that time, he claimed that Terry Thompson was murdered by animal advocates to advance an agenda to ban private ownership of dangerous exotic pets.

At least five tigers died at the facility during the investigation – two of them had been sick for months and may have been shot by GW employees. A 6-year-old tiger named Hobbes died without receiving veterinary care and a 6-week-old cub being raised inside the GW owner’s house somehow sustained head injuries and had to be euthanized. And the death of 23 infant tigers at the facility over a 13-month period between 2009 and 2010 prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to open an investigation into GW Exotics for the unexplained death rate at the park.

“GW Exotics may have more dangerous exotic animals than any other roadside zoo in the nation—with approximately five times as many predators as the late Terry Thompson of Zanesville, Ohio,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “At this facility, children are allowed to play with tigers as if they are domestic kittens, rather than wild cats soon to mature into the some of the world’s most lethal carnivores.”

The HSUS investigator witnessed or heard reports about numerous dangerous public interactions at GW—some with a nearly full-grown tiger—including at least six cases where visitors were bitten or scratched.

  • In August 2011, according to GW’s assistant park manager, three people suffered tiger bites at a fair, including one child whose bite became infected.
  • On Sept. 3, 2011, a tiger reportedly bit a young girl on her leg during the “play cage” portion of a tour.
  • On Sept. 11, 2011, a tiger cub scratched a young child while the child was posing for a picture.
  • On Sept. 17, 2011, a 20-week-old tiger named Dre knocked down and bit a small child. GW’s park manager told staff that the boy was bitten and scratched and that he would be bruised but that he (the manager) had “smoothed things over” with the mother and had her “sign the papers.” The next day, the same tiger was used for photo shoots at GW and photographers posed a small child bottle feeding the tiger.

The HSUS has filed complaints with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service seeking an investigation into potential violations of the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Endangered Species Act, Lacey Act, and Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act; with the U.S. Department of Agriculture for potential violations of the Animal Welfare Act; and with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation for potential violations of GW’s state commercial wildlife license. HSUS has also reached out to local law enforcement concerning the results of its investigation.

The HSUS is urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to adopt regulations banning public contact with dangerous wild animals no matter the age of the animals. Current regulations generally allow public contact with tiger cubs between the ages of 8 and 12 weeks, and encourage the reckless over breeding of tiger cubs and surplus of captive adult tigers. The HSUS is also urging Congress to pass H.R. 4122, the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act, introduced by Reps. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., and Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., to prohibit the private ownership and breeding of tigers and other dangerous big cats.

The investigative report is available here. B-roll video footage of the investigation is available for media download here and here.

Media Contact: Raul Arce-Contreras, 301.721.6440,

Read Wayne’s blog on the Oklahoma investigation

Roar For Tony & Captive U.S. Tigers On World Animal Day October 4, 2011   Leave a comment

World Animal Day is a special day to commemorate the respect and love we have for animals and also to bring attention to the importance of animals and raise awareness for them. It began in 1931 in Florence at a convention of ecologists as a means to highlight endangered species. Since then it has developed to include all animal life and countries around the world participate in and celebrate this day. World Animal Day is celebrated on October 4th – The Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi who is the patron saint of animals.

We’re getting an early start on this important day to raise awareness for Tony and 5,000 – 10,000 privately owned tigers in the United States.

Please participate in World Animal Day by taking these actions for Tony and captive tigers in the United States. This post is also mirrored as a Facebook online event:

  • Petition Blitz For Tony

Via The Animal Legal Defense Fund: “The court has scheduled two new hearings in the Tony the Tiger case. On October 17th, the court will hear the State’s exceptions, which challenge the plaintiffs’ standing to bring the case. On November 2nd, the court will hear ALDF’s motion for a permanent injunction to revoke the permit that lets Michael Sandlin confine Tony at the Tiger Truck Stop.”

As of this post, Tony’s petitions have a combined total of 92,103 signatures – our goal: 100,000. Petitions are a great way to keep Tony’s story active, people supportive and  also demonstrate the vast amount of supporters Tony has all over the world who want to see him relocated to an accredited big cat sanctuary. Please sign the petitions and share them via email, Twitter and Facebook. There are easy sharing options at the links below.

ALDF Sponsored Petitions:

1.  (37,807)

2.  (10,687)

Care2 Sponsored Petition:

3.  (43,609)

  • Tweet 4 Tony

Twitter has been a great networking tool for Tony; people all over the world have come to learn about and support Tony. If you have a Twitter account you can follow @FreeTonyTiger and @TonyTiger2000. Please tweet:

Roar 4 Tony @TonyTiger2000 & Captive U.S. #Tigers on @WorldAnimalDay Oct. 4 Info #SaveTigersNow #FreeTonyNow Plz RT


Petition Blitz! Roar On To 100K Plz Sign & RT Tony’s @TonyTiger2000 Petitions @WorldAnimalDay Oct. 4 #FreeTonyNow

  • More links for Tony to share:

ALDF Page For Tony:

Join Tony on Facebook Page:

Free Tony The Tiger On WordPress:

Tony’s Story:

Your Continued Support For Tony Is Needed!! (Contacts to write to at this link):

Petition Links (Collective):

Follow Tony On Twitter:!/FreeTonyTiger and!/TonyTiger2000

Tony On Youtube:

Big Cat Rescue’s (TampaFL) Free Tony Page: / Twitter Petition:

  • Comment Period Extended To Oct. 21, 2011 For Proposal on Generic Tigers!!

One of the most important actions you can take for tigers is to submit a comment to the USFWS stating you support the proposal to eliminate the exemption for “generic” tigers at:!submitComment;D=FWS-R9-IA-2011-0027-14468  For more information please watch the following video courtesy of Big Cat Rescue – Tampa FL and visit their action alert at: or see this action alert from The Animal Legal Defense Fund:

Action Alert!! Save The Tiger! Courtesy of Big Cat Rescue – Tampa FL

( Direct Link: )

Tigers are not gimmicks, attractions, props or pets. Tony The Truck Stop Tiger represents one of the estimated 5,000* tigers privately owned in the United States whose numbers exceed tigers left in the wild. These captive U.S. tigers suffer in backyards as “pets,” in roadside zoos attractions and circuses, and are bred for profit; tiger cubs are exploited in photo ops and exhibitions, and others are condemned to canned hunts and sold on the black market.

Tigers in The U.S. Courtesy of Big Cat Rescue – Tampa FL

( Direct Link: )

There is no conservation value in privately breeding tigers. The only sanctioned tiger breeding program in the United States is the Species Survival Plan in which AZA accredited zoos participate. Privately breeding tigers contributes to the escalating problem of privately owned tigers in the United States.

Backyard Tigers of America Courtesy of Big Cat Rescue – Tampa FL

( Direct Link: )

Tiger cubs are exploited and abused in money-making ploys disguised as “educational shows.” There is nothing educational about displaying cubs in hands-on exhibitions and photo ops – but it is how individuals and pseudo-sanctuaries capitalize on the appeal of these baby tigers and other big cat cubs to lure the public into their unscrupulous schemes. Exploiting tiger cubs by allowing the public to interact with them is not educational, but dangerous and misleading, as well as harmful to the cubs. The real life horrors these cats face once they shed their “cuteness” and turn into 300 to 500 lb. predators are years of captive life in deplorable conditions. Please don’t contribute to this abuse by engaging in these exhibitions, supporting or promoting them.

Cute Tiger Cubs – Robbed from the Cradle Courtesy of Big Cat Rescue – Tampa FL

( Direct Link: )

  • What you can do to help tigers:

Do not patronize or support events that exploit tigers and tiger cubs (or any big cats.)

If there’s an online article about a show coming to a mall, fair, or a circus employing animal acts, comment on it voicing your concern for the animals and your opposition to such shows. Share the information via Twitter and Facebook and ask others to do the same. You can also contact the venue to tell them you do not support such exhibitions of animal cruelty and abuse. If you do see a traveling exhibit, particularly one with cubs, report it to

Visit Big Cat Rescue – Tampa FL’s Action Alerts for ways you can advocate for big cats:

Share links to videos and articles about tigers to network the plights they face both in captivity and the wild – some of which have been included in this post.

Support true accredited sanctuaries that provide caring proper homes for big cats such as:

Big Cat Rescue – Tampa FL

The WildCat Sanctuary

WildCat Haven

Facilities that breed, buy, sell, force their animals to perform and exhibit them off site are just profiting from these animals and should be avoided.

Such majestic and magnificent cats like tigers should be respected and protected and it is up to those of us who care about Tony and tigers like him to continue to be a strong voice for them. Thank you.*

For more information about World Animal Day, visit their website at:


To celebrate animal life in all its forms

To celebrate humankind’s relationship with the animal kingdom

To acknowledge the diverse roles that animals play in our lives – from being our companions, supporting and helping us, to bringing a sense of wonder into our lives

To acknowledge and be thankful for the way in which animals enrich our lives.

*Some content originally posted at:

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